Jurgen Klinsmann predicts a "nail-biter" of a Copa América quarterfinal matchup with Ecuador on Thursday, but he tells SoundersFC.com the team is looking forward to the "tremendous support" they've come to expect at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
With the Hawk's Nest, American flags and part of the skyline behind him, the US Men's National Team coach dishes out praise for the atmosphere:
"We had the World Cup Qualifier [here], which was a tremendous atmosphere, tremendous support. And now being back for the quarterfinals of the Copa America, it is big time. We know the Sounders fans are crazy, they are amazing, they are backing their team up, and we also know they do that for the national team."
This is also a chance for Clint Dempsey to play in a massive match in front of his home club fans. Klinsmann (perhaps after spending too much time with Taylor Twellman) reuses his descriptor of the upcoming game for his best goal-scorer: "Clint is big time, Clint is really important -- with his experience, with his hunger for goals." Seattle fans and USMNT fans all know at this point that Clint rises to these "big time" occasions, and it's not lost on his coach:
"Obviously he's not getting younger, but he has a tremendous, tremendous hunger, so lets keep him pushing for a couple more years, keep him on board, make him happy. But he's an amazing individual."
If there's anything that will spur on Deuce's "tremendous, tremendous hunger," it's a win-or-go-home game for the U.S. of A in front of his raucous home fans.